EECS Joint Colloquium Distinguished Lecture Series

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Hewlett Packard Auditorium, 306 Soda Hall
4:00-5:00 p.m.

Dr. Urbashi Mitra

University of Southern California


Collaborative Communications and Signal Processing for Sensor Networks




Sensor networks have emerged as a fundamentally new tool for information gathering and system monitoring. Sensor networks are distinguished from traditional sensor systems or wireless networks by strict limitations on bandwidth and system energy resources (communication and computation limits). The constraints on complexity, power and bandwidth coupled with the distributed nature of sensor networks introduces challenges which are often fundamentally different from those previously faced for the construction of more classical wired or wireless networks. In this talk, we endeavor to develop a taxonomy of the approaches which can be undertaken in order to cope with these strong constraints and suggest design strategies which appear to be currently ignored. Three case studies will be explored to emphasize the complex interaction between performance and sensor network constraints: decentralized boundary estimation, compression for time-delay estimation as a pre-cursor to source localization, and the capacity of complexity constrained ad hoc wireless networks. While exploiting very different theories from communication, signal processing and information theory, all of the proposed solutions to these three problems endeavor to optimize performance while explicitly considering the aforementioned constraints. In particular, communication and processing costs are minimized. Finally, we discuss some new problems in the area of collaborative communication.


Urbashi Mitra received the B.S. and the M.S. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley in 1987 and 1989 respectively, both in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. From 1989 until 1990 she worked as a Member of Technical Staff at Bellcore in Red Bank, NJ. In 1994, she received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in Electrical Engineering. From 1994 to 2000, Dr. Mitra was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. She became an Associate Professor in 2000 and currently holds that position in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. She was an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Communications from 1996-2001. Dr. Mitra is currently a member of the IEEE Information Theory Board of Governors. She has had visiting appointments at the Eurecom Institute, Sophia Antipolis France, Rice University, Houston TX and Stanford University, Palo Alto CA. Dr. Mitra is the recipient of: Texas Instruments Visiting Professor Fellowship, 2001 Okawa Foundation Award, 2000 Lumley Award for Research (OSU College of Engineering), 1997 MacQuigg Award for Teaching (OSU College of Engineering), 1996 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, 1994 NSF International Post-doctoral Fellowship, 1998 Lockheed Leadership Fellowship, 1987 California Microelectronics Fellowship. Along with Steve McLaughlin of Georgia Tech, she co-chaired the IEEE Communication Theory Symposium at ICC 2003 in Anchorage, Alaska.